Book of Concord should be in every Lutheran home. If a person
isn’t familiar with this book, he’ll think, ‘That old book is just for
pastors. I don’t have to preach. After working all day, I
can’t sit down and study in the evening. If I read my morning and
evening devotions, that’s enough.’ No, that is not enough!
The Lord doesn’t want us to remain children, blown to and fro by every
wind of doctrine; instead of that, He wants us to grow in knowledge so
that we can teach others.
– Dr. C.F.W. Walther, first president of the LC-MS
Luther’s home at the Black Cloister in Wittenberg, a former monastery, was a busy place. Visitors from near and far often stopped by for an evening meal as Luther conversed with students, pastors, friends, public officials, guests, and faculty from the Wittenberg University. These spirited evening conversations of Luther were written down and later published, coming to be known as Luther’s “Table Talk.” Of course the dialogue was no doubt stirred by the homemade brew of Katie, who, according to Luther, made the best beer in all of Germany.
In the spirit of Luther’s Table Talk a new monthly class at Emmanuel Lutheran Church is being offered. Set in the comfort of the pastor’s study under the gazing portrait of Martin Luther, we will read and study the confessional writings of the Lutheran Church (commonly known as the Book of Concord) as well as other books of Lutheran theology, discussing their historical context and their meaning for us as Lutherans today. In this class we will grow in our understanding of the Sacred Scriptures and how Lutheran teaching confesses what the Scriptures declare. Class will begin at 7:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.
We will kick off our first class on November 2, a few days after we celebrate the Lutheran Reformation. Guests are welcome, as are non-Lutherans or friends from other churches who would like to gather around for an informal and enjoyable discussion about Lutheran doctrine and teaching. Church leaders and those interested in enriching their understanding of the Lutheran faith and confession are encouraged to attend. In the spirit of the Table Talk of former days you are welcome to bring your own beverage which may or may not be of the “Lutheran variety.”
At the Synod Convention this July a resolution was passed to encourage congregations to start classes like this in anticipation of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. Here is a chance for us to do just that. My article this month closes with this resolution.
WHEREAS, All LCMS congregations subscribe to the “Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church” (Constitution Art. II 2) as contained in the Book of Concord; and
WHEREAS, The 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther will be observed in 2017; and
WHEREAS, It is most appropriate for the members of a Lutheran church to join in the celebration of that anniversary; and
WHEREAS, Concordia Publishing House has published resources to assist in the study of the Lutheran Confessions, including Concordia: A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Synod encourage every congregation and educational institution to hold regular ongoing studies of the Book of Concord of 1580 (i.e., the Lutheran Confessions).